Whos that Guy?
With good result after good result the Connecticut Knights have certainly been one of the biggest, and best, surprises of this spring’s grassroots circuit thus far.
It began in Middletown at the Basketbull New England Qualifier when the Knights scored an upset over Expressions Elite in pool play and went on to the semi-finals of the gold bracket. A week later the Knights announced their presence on an even bigger stage as they advanced to another gold semi-final, this time at the Providence Jam Fest, defeating the likes of New Heights and Long Island Lightning in the process. The last two weeks have brought more final four finishes at both the Hoop Mountain Invitational and the Hall of Fame Spring Classic.
While talented guard Tylon Smith Jr. has been the team’s most consistent scoring presence, the Knights success has been anything but a one man show. Players like Mike Deffley and Cyrus James have both made a name for themselves this month but the biggest breakout performer has been Mike Anderson.
Anderson, a six-foot-five swingman who graduated from Weaver High School in Hartford last year, spent this past season developing his game at TAAG Academy as a post-graduate. The benefits have been easy to see this spring as Anderson has emerged as a consistent double-figure scorer for the Knights while also intriguing a variety of college coaches.
Adelphi, Long Island, Albany, New Haven, and American International are a few of the schools that have recently developed an interest in the Hartford native according to Knights head coach Tylon Smith Sr.
It’s not hard to see why as Anderson has the size and length that is so coveted at the next level while showing the skill set to shoot the ball from the three-point line and in while also creating with his dribble.
So what’s the plan for Anderson next year?
According to Smith, he’ll be heading to college one way or another. He is just short of a qualifying SAT score and if he can get that number on next month’s test there is no doubt that he’ll have scholarship opportunities next year. If not, Smith says Anderson will be off to junior college where his development will no doubt only continue until he graduates and again becomes a target of scholarship level programs in two years.